Hannah Barrett (right) is a new member of the UB Global staff. In less than two weeks, she leaves for Thailand, where she will teach students from many nationalities (including Thai) in an international school in Chiang Rai. Hannah graduated in May 2018 from Huntington University, with a degree in Elementary Education with a TESOL certification.

Chiang Rai International Christian School (CRICS) keeps its tuition very affordable so that locals and missionary children can attend. All teachers raise their support to be there. Hannah has already been to CRICS twice—once on a January Term trip and another for student teaching.

Hannah will serve in Thailand for one year as part of UB Global’s Jump Start program. Jump Start is designed to provide a streamlined process for recent graduates to serve on a United Brethren field for a shorter period (1-2 years) and discern God’s longer-term calling.

We already have an international team of ten persons serving in Chiang Rai. If you are interested in learning more about Hannah’s ministry, getting on her update list, or supporting her, contact us at info@ub.org.

Jeff Bleijerveld, Director of UB Global

Continue to pray for Nicaragua and our 32 United Brethren churches as the demonstrations and government assaults continue with increasing violence and deaths. In recent days, the Daniel Ortega government has sent police and armed paramilitaries into various communities to conduct “clean ups” of barricades and to quell protestors and demonstrations.

The violence, which began in mid-April just days after Jeff Bleijerveld and Jeff Dice left the country, has now left 370 dead, the vast majority of whom are young protestors. Banks generally remain closed, as do schools, businesses, markets and grocery stores, where shelves and coolers remain empty.

This past Sunday, July 15, Rev. Armando Lopez (right), our national leader in Nicaragua, negotiated the release of more than 40 young people in his town of Niquinohomo, a task generally left to Catholic priests. Evangelicals are finding it difficult to remain neutral and are often criticized for their passivity.

Just this week, we found a way to send the more than $3000 that churches and donors provided to replace the roof of a UB church destroyed by homemade mortars, and to provide packets of basic foods for the most vulnerable.

On Monday, July 2, Dwight Kuntz, UB missionary in Jamaica, was rushed back to Indiana and taken to the Intensive Care Unit of Parkview North Hospital in Fort Wayne, Ind. He was diagnosed with pneumonia, dehydration, renal failure, and a toxic virus called Humanmetanumovirus.

He is now doing much better. Dwight’s wife, Patti, reported the following on Sunday, July 8: “It seemed like overnight, everything changed – seemed like it anyway. I was in awe of how quickly Dwight has gone from being at death’s door on Monday night, critical state, to breathing air on his own, moving, talking, eating, and now watching American Pickers on TV.”

A year-and-a-half ago, Dwight was recovering from cancer and renal failure. Patti said, “Because this is the second time his kidneys have failed, he may need to be on dialysis for a few months.”

Please keep Dwight and Patti in your prayers as Dwight continues healing.

Marilyn and Roger Reeck (third and fourth from left) with their four daughters and their families, at the wedding of Amanda and Amila.

Amanda and Amila.

Amanda Reeck was married on May 20 to Amila Jayacody. The wedding was held in Comfort, Texas. Amanda is one of four daughters of Wycliffe missionaries Roger and Marilyn Reeck, who are endorsed missionaries with UB Global living in Honduras. Amila is from Sri Lanka.

Roger and Marilyn recently traveled to Colombia to participate in a workshop for 43 Venezuelan translators from six different Indian groups. Marilyn wrote, “Being with this dedicated group of people was truly a wonderful experience. It is sad to hear of their experiences back home in Venezuela–the lack of food and finances. The group of consultants each took gifts for them–clothing, toiletries, etc. Many said that they had not been able to purchase new clothes in several years. There were so many sad stories. The situation is very serious.”

Roger worked with two different translation groups, and Marilyn held Trauma Healing sessions and assisted in other ways.

Said Marilyn, “Praise God that it came at a time in their lives when the Venezuelans really have many hurts. Over one million people have left Venezuela and migrated to other countries in South America. Besides all the daily difficulties, families are now separated and hurting.”

On June 4, Roger and Marilyn traveled to Guinea Bissau in West Africa. They will be there unti July 7. Roger will check the Sonike and Flupe translations. The Sonike people are a Muslim group.

 

With so much in the national news these days, there has been little said about the violence that continues to plague Nicaragua. At present, the country remains paralyzed following the recent failure of talks negotiated by the Catholic Church between the government of Daniel Ortega and protesters. To date, 83 people have been killed in violent clashes, the vast majority of whom are youth and university students.

In the city of Masaya, where the United Brethren in Christ are headquartered, protests, looting and violence continue day and night. Masaya has symbolic significance to Nicaraguans, as it was here, 40 years ago, that the Sandinista National Liberation Front, launched a fearless and violent uprising against dictator Anastasio Somoza and troops loyal to him, which later plunged the country into a near civil war.

We received an email from the United Brethren national leader, Rev. Armando Lopez (right), who lives in Masaya. He said mortar fire has destroyed the roof of the Aposento Alto UB church and parsonage. Stores have been looted, barricades block traffic, government buildings have been burnt to the ground, and what food is available is extremely expensive. Throughout the country businesses, schools, and factories are on lock down.

Rev. Lopez is asking for our financial assistance so that they can provide food packets for the most needy in their communities and materials to repair the damage at the Aposento Alto Church. He believes they can repair the church and parsonage for about $500. We’re hoping to raise another $1500 to help them provide 100 families with packets of food.

You can send your gift marked “NICARAGUA RELIEF” to:

UB Global
302 Lake Street
Huntington IN 46750

UB missionary Erika Pacheco painting with a Thai youngster.

Thai children proudly display their painted creations.

Our team of missionaries in Chiang Rai continue building relationships with neighbors in an effort to gain their trust and establish rapport. One of many ways they have been doing this is by having children in to paint pictures. Looking at these photos makes us wonder which of these children might be the first to become a follower of Jesus, or perhaps even a leader of the church in Thailand.

Does your church have an activity or special skill they could pass on to the team? Perhaps you could even travel to Thailand to share your talents. Contact UB Global us if you have some ideas.

L-r: Greg Fiedler (former missionary to Sierra Leone), Elaine Metzger RN, Dr. Dan Benson (third-year family medicine resident), Dr. Jereme Long (ER physician who is excellent at teaching ultrasound), Dr. Kevin Dougherty (fourth-year ER resident), Dr. Mike Schuhknecht (surgeon), Dr. Ron Baker, Dr. Doug Tacket (family medicine residency director).

Dr. Ron Baker is leading a team of medical volunteers to the Mattru Hospital in Sierra Leone for two weeks. Be in prayer for them as they minister health and well-being, but also care for the spiritual needs of their patients. This is the first medical team traveling to Mattru that will have the benefit of 24 hour-per-day electricity.

Seth and Becca Mallay and children.

Seth and Becca Mallay are UB Global endorsed missionaries serving in Togo with World Medical Mission, the medical arm of Samaritan’s Purse. Seth is a family physician.

They received news this week that their oldest daughter, Arwen, has stage four neuroblastoma which has metastasized to her bones.They have been told to expect about two years of rigorous treatment.

Clearly, this changes their plans regarding medical missions, but they are not deterred from their mission. They reject discouragement, but accept that their timeline is being altered out of necessity.

Seth felt the call to become a fulltime medical missionary as a child, and remained committed to this call throughout medical school and residency. Becca was raised on the mission field in Brazil, and from a young age felt called to fulltime mission work in Africa.

The Mallays are members of Hillsdale UB church in Hillsdale, Mich. If you are interested in helping them financially, a good friend has set up a GoFundMe account for them.

Rev. Armando Lopez was elected as the new superintendent of Nicaragua Conference. He replaces Rev. Juan Pavón, who has served in that role for over 12 years.

Born in 1949 in the city of Granada. His parents pastored a small church. Armando can’t recall when he made the decision to follow Jesus, but he distinctly remembers preaching the Gospel as a child in bus stations and marketplaces. When Armando graduated from high school at age 17, he was determined to become a minister. In fact, all of his siblings are serving as pastors today.

In 2004, Armando was introduced to the United Brethren and has served as pastor of the Camino de Fe church in Niquinohomo, where he has also served as the area cluster leader. Armando is passionate about evangelism, discipleship, and church planting. It is his desire to lead our 30 Nicaraguan churches in multiplying themselves.